Former FBI special agent Karen Greenaway said that if Ukraine succeeds in returning the money, it will be less than $9 bln.
Greenway, who in now retired, used to supervise the team of investigators and analysts who tried to recover assets withdrawn by the Yanukovych regime. She gave several reasons why their efforts have failed so far.
The law breakers took into account the experience of the former Ukraine Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, who is now in custody in the U. S. for money laundering in America. The assets stolen by the Yanukovych regime were not transferred to the U.S. directly. They were being transferred through correspondent accounts, which enabled the investigators to see the transactions, but not always get an idea about their final destinations. Such transactions do not provide information about the origin of the money and do not always help to identify the account holder.
The money was also divided into smaller amounts to conceal them and complicate the freezing of assets. Also Ukraine state institutions were not capable of freezing the assets quickly, said Greenway.
Thousands of millions of dollars were moving very quickly and were very often dispersed. In case of Ukraine, FBI was searching for $400 mln. By the time of Greenway’s retirement they had not found most of the money as over 10 thousand transactions had been made with it.
Certain sums of money were spent, so they cannot be recovered.
Also the information on the assets of Yanukovych regime was often insufficient or outdated.